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A long night - Peter Hentges

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November 3rd, 2004


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05:01 am - A long night
And it's not over yet.

It's a far cry from my prediction of 331 electoral votes for Kerry, but I remain optimistic and still believe that Kerry will win this election. The provisional ballots in Ohio are, in all likelihood, from voters who were challenged by Republican operatives. The number of provisional ballots is far greater than the difference in the vote totals for the candidates. (136,000 vote difference, 175-250,000 votes uncounted.)

Some of them, yes, will be voters from both sides who fell through the cracks and some will be from Democratic challenges. The focus of Democratic operations, however, has been on refuting Republican challenges. So they will fall heavily for Kerry.

There is also talk of voting fraud tied to electronic voting machines. You can find a lot out there if you go look. I'm happy to provide pointers to what I've found if you're interested.

I hinge my never-fading hopes, however, on the provisional and absentee ballots. These are paper ballots. Good ol' mark-with-a-pen kind of ballots. With these still outstanding, I hope for a verifiable victory without the need for litigation.

My war cry has changed from "Landslide for Kerry!" to "Count them all!" Either way, we've got some interesting days and weeks ahead of us.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:sleigh
Date:November 3rd, 2004 03:37 am (UTC)
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I wish I could say I were optimistic with you. I'm not. The bulk of the provisional ballots will be tossed because the voter is in the wrong precinct or is otherwise ineligible. Kerry needs to win nine of ten of the provisional ballots to overcome the six figure lead Bush has.

It's over. Time to concede.
From:joel_rosenberg
Date:November 3rd, 2004 04:11 am (UTC)
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The chances of Kerry getting 90%+ of the provisional ballots approaches zero, as you imply.

Kerry won't concede, although I expect Edwards will urge him to. This was Kerry's only shot at the prize; Edwards expects -- not unreasonably -- to have another bite at the apple, and stretching things out over that forlorn a hope wouldn't do his career -- or the country -- any good at all.

From my POV, it's unfortunate that flipping Ohio could flip the election, but this isn't like Florida in 2000; the margin of victory is outside the margin of error. We'll see, shortly, if it's outside the margin of lawyer.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:November 3rd, 2004 05:28 am (UTC)
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Kerry could need as few as 54% of the provisional ballots (depending on how many of them exist, that 54% is from a very optimistic number).

We do not yet know what the margin of victory is. We won't know until all the ballots are counted. So it is impossible to say that it is outside the margin of error.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:November 3rd, 2004 05:25 am (UTC)
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The Republican Secretary of State of your fine state said that in the last election 90% of the provisional ballots were good ballots. No reason to suspect that would be different this time.

Kerry would have to collect votes from 54% to 77% of the total outstanding votes (depending on whose numbers are right, before determining which ballots are good). He pulled numbers right in there from the heavily urban areas of Ohio, where most of these provisional ballots would be from.

It is not over.

Count them all.
[User Picture]
From:sleigh
Date:November 3rd, 2004 05:36 am (UTC)
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CNN is reporting that our fine Republican Secretary of State (heavy, heavy sarcasm there...) is saying that there are only about 135,000 provisional ballots in Ohio. If every last one of them is valid, and every last one of them is a vote for Kerry, that will still not be enough...
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:November 3rd, 2004 05:51 am (UTC)
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When I last saw that number, it didn't include any provisional ballots from the county that includes Cleveland.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 3rd, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)
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My understanding is that the provisional ballots are to be counted and reported by no later than 2:00 EST. Hopefully they will also break down where those ballots are from which would be useful.

I think it's fair to stick with the idea that 10% of those will be discounted for any number of reasons.

Has anyone heard how many absentee ballots there are?

Jim
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:November 3rd, 2004 08:25 am (UTC)
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My understanding is that Ohio law says the provisional ballots cannot be counted for 10 days. I expect that since most people will want this done before then, that pressure will be put on the authorities to do it faster.

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